Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many doctors have switched to using telehealth appointments to ensure the safety of their patients while getting them the care they need. However, many senior citizens lack the necessary technology to access these appointments. Joyce Liu, a rising sophomore at Emory University and the 2019 Lowndes High School valedictorian, realized there was a simple solution: collect donated devices from friends and family to donate to older Americans.
In June, Joyce helped start the Georgia chapter of Telehealth Access for Seniors, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit started by college students that collects camera-enabled devices for elderly patients to access telehealth care. The organization has donated over 1000 devices nationwide to hospitals and patients in need. Along with device donations, they also provide technology support by calling seniors and helping them set up their devices, connect with family and friends, order grocery and pharmacy deliveries, and access their medical appointments. Wanting to give back to her hometown of Valdosta, Joyce and the Georgia chapter of volunteers are partnering with South Georgia Medical Center to donate devices.
Joyce says she was inspired to get involved due to her passion for healthcare access and connecting with patients. As a high school student, she volunteered at South Georgia Medical Center. “Hearing personal life stories from patients made me realize how important it is to stay connected, especially during this time of social distancing,” she says. “I’ve been deeply touched by the dedication of our healthcare workers during this difficult time. Their work has inspired me and my fellow college students to try to give back to our community in any way they can.” At Emory University, Joyce is studying biology and economics on a pre-medical track and hopes to advocate for increased healthcare access in the future.
For more information or to donate a device, visit www.telehealthforseniors.org. To make a tax-deductible monetary donation to purchase devices and chargers, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/telehealth-access-for-seniors?member=4675304 and mention Joyce Liu to ensure funds go to Georgia patients.